With the positive Supreme Court verdict on the Congress-JDS rebels, BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa has finally smelt victory. The Supreme Court made it clear that the rebels cannot be compelled to take part in assembly proceedings. What does it mean? No ‘whip’ of the party applies to them to take part in the ‘trust vote’, which set to take place today.
“It is a victory for the Constitution and democracy, it is a moral victory for rebel MLAs,” he exulted. “It is an interim order and in future, the Supreme Court will ponder over the powers of the Speaker. It will set a new trend in parliamentary democracy.’’
Standing in the Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple in Bengaluru, Yeddyurappa was aglow with anticipation as he participated in the rituals with Basavangudi MLA Ravi Subramanya, former Mayor Katte Sathya and others.
There was celebration in the air at the resort where BJP MLAs are camping, too, with foot-tapping music and singing.
“The party has issued a whip to all 105 BJP MLAs to vote against CM H D Kumaraswamy’s confidence motion.’’
Said one senior leader, “The Congress-JDS coalition is left with just 101 MLAs, and if Ramalinga Reddy does vote for them, the number will go up to 102, but not more. The only option for them is to poach some of our MLAs and we have taken sufficient precautions against it. Which MLA in his right mind would support them? Their days are badly numbered.’’
Welcoming the SC judgment, senior BJP leader C T Ravi said, “The Speaker is wise and his powers are supreme, but it’s a wise judgment. The SC has not curtailed the Speaker’s powers but prevented its misuse.’’
Newly appointed BJP General Secretary (Organization) B L Santhosh and state in-charge general secretary Muralidhar Rao will be present in Bengaluru on Thursday when the battle begins.
BJP’s 105 MLAs have been divided into smaller groups, and one leader has been assigned for each group, as they are brought to the assembly in specially protected vehicles.
The leaders will ensure that they do not go anywhere until the trust vote is over.
The concern is that there are a sizable number of BJP MLAs who were once in the Congress or JDS, and they have been given maximum security.
For the trust vote, BJP will bank on the two Independents who have assured them support — H Nagesh (Mulbagal) and R Shankar (Ranebennur).
Nagesh was small scale industries minister and Shankar was municipal administration minister in the Kumaraswamy cabinet before they resigned and headed to Mumbai.
BJP leaders are also expecting some “sleeper cell’’ MLAs in the Congress camp to either absent themselves or not vote in line with the whip. The party also expects BSP MLA N Mahesh to give support.